La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is the most popular dive site in San Diego. One of 7 places in California where the underwater canyon comes close enough to shore for divers, La Jolla Shores is a dive site appropriate for divers of all experience levels. The canyon walls start at approximately 45 feet and descend in areas to depths below 130 feet. The clay walls are home to many fishes and invertebrates that live amongst the numerous holes along the canyon walls. Bat rays, angel sharks, and horn sharks can be found in the sandy flats on the way back to shore from the canyon edge. La Jolla Shores is perfect for "nudi-lovers" as these tiny invertebrates can often be found on the canyon walls or the sandy area at the top of the canyon.

»Click here for information about our guided shore dives!

La Jolla Cove

A popular site for snorkelers and divers alike, La Jolla Cove is an advanced dive appropriate for divers with experience doing surf entries and dive conditions similar to San Diego. Those who do dive La Jolla Cove are rewarded with visits from the California Sea Lion, the fierceness of the Garibaldi, and the majesty of La Jolla's kelp forests. Kelp bass, senoritas, opal eye, and sargo use the site giant kelp as an underwater playground. On a calm day, divers can experience swimming through the fronds of the kelp as if walking through an underwater cathedral. This site is best dived in summer on days with very little swell and tide change.

DIVE CALIFORNIA offers snorkeling tours and guided dives of this amazing site!

» Click here for more information about our Snorkel Tours!

Marine Room Reefs & Canyon

A mixture between La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores, divers can easily acess the the canyon which starts at a shallow 25 feet and follow the walls as they slowly descend along the peninsula between the Marine Room and La Jolla Shores canyons. More advanced divers can descend down the point to larger walls in the 100 depth range. Returning to shore from the walls takes divers over an immense sand dollar bed where the lucky few may catch glimpses of remnants of a Native American village. A second dive at this location will take divers into the Marine Room Reefs. These shallows reefs consists of numerous garibaldi, kelp bass, senoritas, and blacksmiths.

The sandy flat directly in front of the Marine Room Restaurant comes alive in late July through early September as the leopard sharks use this site as a mating ground. Throughout the summer months, it is very common to find schools of bat rays lounging on the flat sandy bottom. Giant black sea bass occasionally can be found gracefully swimming along the edge of the canyon.

A guided dive of Marine Room is available by special request.

»Click here for information about our guided shore dives!

Boat Diving

Boat DivingSan Diego offers many boat diving opportunities for divers. While no dive shop in San Diego has their own dive boat, there are dive charters available for boat diving. Local companies are:

San Diego dive boats generally go to:
  • Wreck Alley - INTERMEDIATE to ADVANCED level
    • HMCS Yukon : Depth 70 - 100 feet
    • CGC Ruby E : Depth 50 - 86 feet
    • NOSC Tower : Depth 35 - 65 feet
  • Point Loma Kelp - BEGINNER to ADVANCED level
    (Depth : 30 - 100+ feet)
  • La Jolla Kelp - BEGINNER level
    (Depth : 40 - 60 feet)
  • Las Islas de los Coronados (Coronado Islands) - BEGINNER to INTERMEDIATE level
    (Depth : 20 - 60 feet)

Sundiver International is a dive charter company that leaves from Long Beach and dives Santa Catalina Island and the Long Beach wrecks & oil rigs. Catalina diving is suitable for all levels of experience, whereas the Long Beach wrecks & oil rigs are suitable for ADVANCED divers.

San Diego Water Temperatures

Month Avg Surface Temp. Avg Temp @ 60 feet

Recommended Scuba Equipment

Whilst San Diego's surface water temperatures may increase in the summer months to the lower 70's, the temperature below the thermocline maintains a stable 50-56°. For this reason, DIVE CALIFORNIA recommends the following scuba equipment for diving in San Diego:

  • 7mm Dive Fullsuit or Dry Suit
  • 5mm Dive Hood
  • 3mm Dive Gloves (or thicker)
  • 5mm Dive Boots (or thicker)
  • BCD with an appropriate lift capacity
    Average Men's M should have 35lbs of lift
  • Open Heel Scuba Fins that accomodate at least a 5mm Dive Boot

DIVE CALIFORNIA has a full line of appropriate rental scuba equipment for our out-of-town divers.

Click here for our Rental options»

Water Visibility

San Diego's average visibility is generally 10 - 20 feet. Visibility in the summer months can increase to an exceptional 50 foot and can decrease to less than 5 feet. All conditions are relevant to current swell and recent storms.

Spanish Shawl